General Duties and Responsibilities of Editors:
- Editors should be accountable for everything published in their journals.
- strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;
- strive to constantly improve their journal;
- have processes in place to assure the quality of the material they publish;
- champion freedom of expression;
- maintain the integrity of the academic record;
- preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;
- always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
Author Ethical Considerations:
- The authors should not falsify or fabricate data, data sources, findings, claims, or credentials.
- Academic honesty should be considered by authors. They should reference when they reported or utilized any materials or data verbatim no matter it is published, unpublished, or electronically available.
- No discrimination with regard to race; ethnicity; culture; nationality; gender; age; religion; language; disability; or socioeconomic status; should be found in the submitted manuscripts.
- All the authors should get the informed consent of the participants of their studies. In consonant, protection of participants’ privacy and maintaining their anonymity should be meticulously considered in the manuscripts.
Basic Principles to which Peer Reviewers should Adhere:
Peer reviewers should:
- only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner
- respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal.
- not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others
- declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest
- not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations
- be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libelous or derogatory personal comments
- acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavor and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner
- recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct.
Expectations during the Peer-Review Process
On being approached to review, peer reviewers should:
- respond in a reasonable time-frame, especially if they cannot do the review.
- declare if they do not have the subject expertise required to carry out the review
- only agree to review a manuscript if they are fairly confident they can return a review within the proposed or mutually agreed time-frame
- declare any potentially conflicting or competing interests
- follow journals’ policies on situations they consider to represent a conflict to reviewing
- review afresh any manuscript they have previously reviewed for another journal as it may have changed between the two submissions
- ensure suggestions for alternative reviewers are based on suitability and not influenced by personal considerations not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review.
- decline to review if they feel unable to provide a fair and unbiased review.
- decline to review if they have been involved with any of the work in the manuscript or its reporting.
- decline to review if asked to review a manuscript that is very similar to one they have in preparation or under consideration at another journal.
Peer reviewers should:
- notify the journal immediately and seek advice if they discover either a conflicting interest that wasn’t apparent when they agreed to the review
- notify the journal as soon as possible if they find they do not have the expertise to assess all aspects of the manuscript
- not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript, including junior researchers they are mentoring, without first obtaining permission from the journal
- keep all manuscript and review details confidential.
- in the case of double-blind review, if they suspect the identity of the author(s) notify the journal if this knowledge raises any potential conflict of interest.
- notify the journal immediately if they come across any irregularities, have concerns about ethical aspects of the work
- not intentionally prolong the review process
- ensure their review is based on the merits of the work and not influenced, either positively or negatively, by any personal, financial, or other conflicting consideration
- not contact the authors directly without the permission of the journal
When Preparing the Report
Peer reviewers should:
- be objective and constructive in their reviews and provide feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript.
- not make derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations
- be specific in their criticisms, and provide evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements
- be aware of the sensitivities surrounding language issues that are due to the authors writing in a language that is not their own
- make clear which suggested additional investigations are essential to support claims made in the manuscript
- not prepare their report in a way that reflects badly or unfairly on another person.
- ensure their comments and recommendations for the editor are consistent with their report for the authors
- not suggest that authors include citations to the reviewer’s (or their associates’) work merely to increase the reviewer’s (or their associates’) citation count
Expectations Post Review
Peer reviewers should:
- continue to keep details of the manuscript and its review confidential.
- respond promptly if contacted by a journal about matters related to their review of a manuscript and provide the information required.
- contact the journal if anything relevant comes to light after they have submitted their review that might affect their original feedback and recommendations.
- read the reviews from the other reviewers, if these are provided by the journal, to improve their own understanding of the topic or the decision reached.
- try to accommodate requests from journals to review revisions or resubmissions of manuscripts they have reviewed.
Shahid Beheshti University (SBU), as the leading university of humanities and social sciences in Iran, holds in high regard authentic and original scholarly works and research efforts. In line with this principle, the Shahid Beheshti University Press has zero tolerance for plagiarism and meticulously studies each and every article submitted to its journals to ensure all SBU-published material remain plagiarism-free. It is worth mentioning that since plagiarism is the most common misstep in producing scholarly work, the SBU Press takes all possible measures to avoid and tackle this issue.
The SBU Press follows the definitions and guidelines as determined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). You can find the complete list of COPE guideline material on publication ethics, codes and regulations at www.publicationethics.org/resources.
With regard to plagiarism, all SBU journals abide by the following definition provided by the APA Publication Manual (6th Ed.) (2010) which defines plagiarism as:
- Using ideas, words, or a product without crediting the original source
- Passing off someone else's ideas, words, or product as your own
- Presenting as new an idea or product created by someone else.
As an umbrella term, plagiarism covers different acts:
- Verbatim Copying: Word-for-word use, partially or completely, of any text or material without using quotation marks and/or reference markers in order to refer to the original source;
- Superficial/Inadequate Paraphrasing: Acquiring ideas from an original source and changing the wording of the source written material in a way that the diction of the original author(s) is still evident.
- Visual Aid Plagiarism: Use of material such as graphs, images or tables, partially or completely, without citation;
- Paraphrasing without Reference: Acquiring ideas from an original source and reproducing the source written material with your own diction without using reference markers and/or citations.
It should be noted that, regardless of the source, the SBU Press regards any uncited or uncredited use of others’ works and productions as plagiarism. Such sources include published/unpublished authors; published/unpublished theses and dissertations; speeches; authors’ own works (incorrect use of which leads to self-plagiarism); PowerPoint presentations; instructional visual aids; journal articles; magazines and newspapers etc.
The SBU Press carefully studies all submitted articles, and plagiarism issues will be tackled in all article publication stages:
- In case plagiarism is detected in newly submitted articles, the Review Committee of the relevant journal will be decided on the nature of this error. In case the act of plagiarism is ruled as a mistake, the author(s) will be notified immediately and will be given an opportunity to correct this issue. In case it is decided that a paper or article contains deliberate plagiarism, the author(s) will be notified of the matter, and they will be put in the SBU Press Blacklist. Entry into the blacklist will result in the author(s) name(s) being distributed among similar scholarly and university publications in order to stop future works from the author(s). Also, individuals who commit plagiarism will be prohibited from sending any articles to the SBU Press for a period of five years from the date of entry into the blacklist.
- Under remote circumstances when an article which contains plagiarism has been accepted and published, besides the above measures, the article will be immediately retracted from all SBU Press publications, whether in print or online, and this retraction will be officially announced on the SBU Press website.
The SBU Press uses state-of-the-art web-based and offline plagiarism detection software to detect plagiarized work and stop the publication of such materials. These software are linked to various worldwide databases and crosscheck newly-submitted work with vast amounts of material of the same category in order to verify the work’s originality and authenticity.